Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers -- my REVIEW

 Disclosure: I received this product free through the Homeschool Review Crew

My only non-college kiddo is in 11th grade, and seems to be doing a lot of writing for different classes. She just completed a college composition course and is currently taking a college literature class; other assignments and activities require writing essays or paragraphs as well. Throughout the years my children have had quite a comprehensive education in grammar and writing, though each one has his or her own style. 

We received the Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers by a company called Everyday Education to use and share our thoughts in a review. The format we received was in an e-book/pdf downloadable book. My daughter was interested to check out some of the hints and tips as she began writing content for her National History Day project. 

The Handbook for Writers is a lengthy resource (over 400 pages!) There are two main sections of the book, The first is kind of a composition section, about writing essays and arguments. Here a writer can find inspiration for more well-written paragraphs, sentences, thesis statements/topic sentences, and much much more. This section contains rules and explanations and examples to help writers improve their writing in the conceptualization of organizing thoughts and relaying the information. 

Section two is more of the nuts-and-bolts of proper writing, containing sections about grammar and parts of speech. There are suggestions to write stronger sentences and properly stated ideas. This section is full of examples, which is nice, so that as you read the rule, you can easily imagine its proper usage in a real life writing or speaking setting. 

As she was writing her paragraphs for the 
National History Day project (she made a website),
 my daughter utilized some of the ideas and tips 
given in the Handbook for Writers

I had said that my daughter was writing paragraphs for her History Day project. She focused on the sections which addressed paragraphs. One of the things that she found very helpful was the encouragement to use certain words as transitions or to show transitions between thoughts and paragraphs. 

One of my pet peeves as a writer or a reader is to see mis-used words. I  appreciated the lengthy sections in part two which addressed word usage, especially commonly misused words. Some of these I am sometimes foggy on...things like when to use i.e. and e.g. and if there are spaces before the letters/after the periods or not...

This reference is full of little tidbits like that! It is not just applicable to high schoolers learning to write, but to adults as well--because seriously, we all need to check our writing habits and steer clear of bad habits!

Another section that my daughter and I agreed was very helpful is the bibliography section (and footnotes section). We usually fall into using easybib or some automated bibliography tool, but often it is difficult to figure out which category to use or if your citations are actually correct using that. This handbook lists so many different bibliography entries and how to construct them for MLA as well as APA. Now that's very useful! 

Overall, I believe that the Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers is a very helpful tool, which can be a help to a student as well as to an adult in writing (and speaking) for their entire lives. It is very thorough and quite easy to use. I received this product for review as an e-book...I really wish that I had it in a paper version--I'm just a book type person :) I did also wish that there was an index/glossary at the back of the book for quick and easy searching (I know, with an ebook I can do ctrl-F, and I did, but if it were in book form I would wish for an index!) The table of contents at the beginning is very helpful, though.

The handbook seems very thorough and easy to read and follow. It is written to be used! I would recommend it. Please click on the link in the box below to read reviews by other homeschooling folks!

Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers {Everyday Education Reviews}

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